By: Jessica Walz
Toya Ambrose and Shandon Perez, two well-known and respected names in the Dance world, are about to show the world their “Society.” With the launch of their new venture, Tone Society, these highly talented choreographers are building a team of “sick movers” to channel an exciting new wave of performers and choreographers.
Competitors and friends, Toya and Shandon knew they wanted to collaborate for a long time. From admiring each other’s work, to being competitors and now partners, they realized their biggest contribution to the dance world is the ability to pass along their knowledge they’ve gained themselves. Simply stated “knowledge shouldn’t live and die with us, but should be passed on to the next generation of creators.”
Excited to learn more about the 100% digital platform company, the founders of Tone Society sat down with Inside Dance to share more about the incredible concepts and creation of Tone Society and how they are changing the Tone of the dance industry in this special sneak preview.
Tone Society – The name signifies a collaborative thought and sounds strong and confident. How did the creation of the name come about?
Funny story, we had been brainstorming around with words we were drawn to, that encompass what we were trying to do with this platform. We kept coming back to the word “Tone” – the meaning of it can mean a variety of things. The tone of a voice, characteristic of intention, underline tone, tone of music. We felt that was great, but then what goes with Tone? We wanted it to feel inclusive of those associated with us, building a group of people. Society. Tone Society – when we said it out loud it just fit.
When mentoring, what are core concepts you feel dancers need to have being a part of your Society?
We’ve identified [several] core concepts that represent Tone Society: 1) Innate talent: sick movers; 2) Growth mindset: perpetual state of learning; 3) Purpose of inspiring and strong creative influence partnered with impactful leadership; 4) Ability to connect: reaching your audience + building and maintaining relationships; 5) Professionalism: reliability, punctuality, communication skills, etc.; 6) The “it” factor: the thing you can’t put your finger on that makes them unforgettable; and 7) Humility: leave your ego at the door while supporting each other’s accomplishments. These concepts are derived from our individual careers – quite literally the keys to our success.
Collaboration seems to be a binding theme for you both. How do you feel working together now in this industry is beneficial to others?
We are role models in our industry and Tone Society is a direct reflection of our shared purpose. This platform breeds future generations of successful creators. Our insatiable drive pushes us individually, therefore making us stronger together. People may not realize that in our individual careers, we consistently compete against each other. Our competitiveness does not define our relationship; it enhances our respect for one another. We celebrate each other’s successes and hug it out in defeat. We literally role model the core concepts that we want our members to embody. It takes the right mentality PLUS talent.
Toya and Shandon’s style and authenticity has been and continues to be mesmerizing. Having them as the lead, Tone Society is well on it’s way to becoming not only a well interconnected training platform but a way of life for movers and passionate dancers! “Our competitiveness does not define our relationship; it enhances our respect for one another.” Wise words from wise women, mentors and leaders in the industry! Their underlying theme to support and grow dancers into their craft is admirable.
And as they say, live and breathe: “We will change the tone of the dance industry, by building one creator at a time.”
Look for the full feature on Tone Society’s platform in the June/July issue of Inside Dance. Subscribe Today!